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How to build a career with a Bachelors in Liberal Arts

How to build a career with a Bachelors in Liberal Arts

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“A general liberal arts education is very important, particularly in an uncertain changing world.” -Steve Jobs

When better than now, to relate to this uncertain changing world that Jobs talked about, right? He used to claim that Apple can constantly create visionary products because it tries to stand at the intersection of technology and liberal arts, to get the best of both.

What are the liberal arts? And what’s a liberal arts degree? & What is the scope of liberal arts in India? Liberal Arts is a broad academic stream, and also one of the oldest in the world. Traditionally there are 7 components in the liberal arts, but from an educational standpoint they’ve evolved over time, and we now have 4 large segments to it – Arts, Humanities, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences. While the humanities and social sciences are often considered to be the only liberal arts, this is far from the truth.

Arts include creative writing, fine art along with music and theatre.

Humanities are one of the most famous majors of liberal arts colleges in India and abroad. They include Literature, Religion, Ethics, Philosophy, History and foreign language studies.

Natural Sciences includes Astronomy, along with other traditional sciences like Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Zoology.

Social Sciences are a vast field, and they include some of the more technical aspects of arts like economics, archaeology, geography, sociology, political science, psychology, and communication studies among many others.

So, now that we’ve got the what out of the way let’s talk about the why. Specifically, why to pursue a bachelors in liberal arts, and the scope of liberal arts in India and the world. We’ve said that this is one of those skills that are extremely important in an ever-evolving world. Curious why? Liberal arts degrees place a lot of focus on soft skills such as communication, creativity and critical thinking, among others. This is in contrast to measurable hard skills such as engineering or analytics, and pursuing a liberal arts degree prepares you holistically in both a practical and theoretical sense. Instead of focusing on a specific set of skills, this degree teaches you how to think, and helps you in developing broader perspectives to collectively learn about human beings and their thoughts, the physical world and natural laws that govern this physical world.

There are many advantages of a liberal arts degree, one of the main features is that you develop skills and knowledge in multiple areas instead of a specific subject like most other specializations. It’s an ideal choice if you’re confused about where your interest lies. You can always go to graduate school when you figure out what specialization is your best fit. In the meantime, why not take a liberal arts program to focus on developing a mindset to continually learn and skills such as leadership, critical thinking and adaptability? These are skills that employers value more than a technical education today. Even by itself, a liberal arts degree opens up a ton of career paths. Did you know? The CEO of YouTube, Susan Wojcicki and founder of Alibaba, Jack Ma are both liberal arts students.

The careers available to liberal arts students are on a wide spectrum, ranging from teaching to social service. Here are some of the most common career paths liberal arts students opt for:

Business: One of the most demanding fields of the 21st century, business is a sector that liberal arts students choose to make a career in. They can go into retail or operations, be business development managers, project managers or pursue entrepreneurship and run their own business. Their people skills and education make them excellent salespersons too.

Finance: Pursuing specialization in economics or commerce can help you get on top of the financial world in careers as financial analysts, accountants, and investment bankers.

Writing: This is one of those universally cherished skills. Liberal arts students write elaborate theses and tons of papers during the course of their study, making them excellent writers by practice. The jobs in this field can be in advertising, marketing, copywriting, journalism, editing and public relations.

Academia: Liberal arts students have excellent communication, presentation and critical thinking skills. The education sector is a good fit for such students, this includes researchers, teachers, professors and experts of their chosen liberal arts fields.

Arts: Careers in fields including performing arts like dance and theatre, and visual arts like painting, photography, graphic design and fashion design are open to students.

Environment: This is all the rage today, with global climate change being a major concern, experts like environmental economists are in great demand. The careers in these fields can be in social impact consulting or environmental law and policy.

Social Service: A large number of liberal arts students go into the social service side. The careers can be in managing NGOs, politics, public policy, law and social consulting, to name a few.

Apart from these, any and every career that requires analytical, critical thinking and problem-solving skills are open to liberal arts students. So, if you were worried about how to get a job with a liberal arts degree, you now know that liberal arts students have several options, definitely more than someone with a specialized degree. And they pay well too, a bachelors level education in liberal arts can get you an average of $61,000 annually. With experience, you can earn upwards of $150,000, and if you manage to set up a successful business like many liberal arts students – Millions.

Are you convinced? Then let’s talk about where to pursue a bachelor of liberal studies. Here are 5 of the top liberal arts programs from universities around the world.

  • Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Sciences
    University College Dublin, Ireland

Duration: 4 Years/Full time

Cost: $23,000/Year

  • B.A Liberal Arts
    University of Leeds, UK

Duration: 3 Years/Full time

Cost: $27,000/Year

  • B.A Liberal Arts
    McGill University, Canada

Duration: 4 Years/Full time

Cost: $18,000/Year

  • Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Sciences
    University of Freiburg, Germany

Duration: 4 Years/Full time

Cost: $3,500/Year

  • Bachelors of Arts, Bachelors of Arts (Hons.)
    Ashoka University, India

Duration: 3 years/Full time

Cost: $10,500/Year

Made up your mind? If you’re interested in pursuing an undergraduate degree in liberal arts, connect with our study abroad counsellors to find out more such universities and programs offering it.

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